Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Amazon issues resolved

Amazon have remedied the patriarchal inequality, but David is still Daddy.

Here are the books. First the collaborative, by Jennifer S. Chesler & David McLean:

Anterior Suicide & Other Tragicomedies.

The Philosophy of Extremism.

Then by David McLean on his own:

Poems for Jennifer.

Two of these are available as e-books, but not at Apple :).

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Amazon get all sexist

Originally, Amazon posted our collaborative works as being written by David McLean alone. We complained about this, explaining that we were co-authors, as the description provided makes perfectly clear.. Now they have, as you shall see at the links, decided, in their infinite wisdom, to credit me as author & Jennifer as contributor. Maybe contributing by making coffee? WTF?

The Philosophy of Extremism.

Anterior suicide & Other Tragicomedies.

Correctly attributed, however, is my book about Jennifer:

Poems for Jennifer.

The Lost Spanking Tapes

In our researches, Jennifer Chesler & i have encountered a challenge & a terrible dilemma. OMG, there are more tapes, where are the lost tapes? Our sex life, our mental health, our age play, & our literary development depend upon these tapes, detailing the exploits of the spanking judge (the Texan one, not the fictional Italian one). we cannot express strongly enough how this material excites us, & clearly others, as shown by the missing comments section on the YouTube version of the tape that we possess.

For a full transcript of one of these tapes. please see our book The Philosophy of Extremism. At the link or at Barnes & Noble.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Haha. even Apple think the wife & I are perverts

Jennifer says that we have been longing for angry responses. Finally! a dream come true. Today we received this, long overdue: 

Notice from Apple:

Prohibited Explicit or Objectionable Content (Informational)
This book contains prohibited explicit or objectionable content, which cannot be accepted on iBooks. Prohibited explicit or objectionable content includes but is not limited to: 

1. Depiction (photo or drawing) of a child in a sexual situation, even without contact. 

2. Photographs of penetrative sex, oral/genital contact, or genitals. 

3. Textual encouragement to commit a crime (e.g. books supporting, encouraging or defending rape, pedophilia, incest, or bestiality or books detailing how to commit a sexual crime). 

4. Photographic content intended for the sole purpose of sexual arousal. 

5. Excessively objectionable or crude content.

This was about The Philosophy of Extremism. We do not feel that the book contained anything but material that was, morally speaking, in ship shop shape.

I think it was number five got us 😀

Anyway, we were accepted by Nook & Kobo.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Barnes & Noble, books arrived.

Now all three books by us, my wife Jennifer Chesler & myself, are listed at Barnes & Noble. Here are the links. The first is by McLean, the others collaborative.

Poems for Jennifer

Anterior Suicide & Other Tragicomedies

The Philosophy of Extremism

These books all fall under the category of extremism while at the same time they tackle odd curiosities, such as fathers teaching incompetent sons to masturbate, the romantic powers of a couple of pairs of mommies' crusty panties, a true love story. They range in scope from yeast infections to feces. They incorporate transcripts of authority figures out of control, deplorable spanking daddies and so forth, which we find terribly exciting.

Almost everything in this book is true. Read it & marvel at the mysteries of flug, as well as the traditional lint-swap ceremony at Swedish weddings.

These books will change & improve your life, unless you are already a pervert.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Jennifer & I promote ourselves

Here is a poem from The Philosophy of Extremism & a picture of my beautiful wife too. Buy the book at Nickel Hole Press. Direct link here.

Here's Jennifer's artist's statement. 

This gem of a book playfully explores extremism, a philosophy by which I, Chesler, have lived for most of my life. It explores literary extremism, gives examples, tells the truth about why prostitutes have no breast milk left come feeding time and other such conundrums. Also included are transcripts of real-life situations that McLean and Chesler find to be titillating examples of extremism. McLean shines as he describes philosophical extremism, spiritual extremism, Lyotard and Artaud. A must read for both simple and sophisticated minds.

Friday, October 13, 2017

electronic extremism

Here is the e-book of The Philosophy of Extremism: a Manifesto (see below) available at this link. It only costs $2.99.

The Philosophy of Extremism

This gem of a book playfully explores extremism, a philosophy by which I, Chesler, have lived for most of my life. It explores literary extremism, gives examples, tells the truth about why prostitutes have no breast milk left come feeding time and other such conundrums. Also included are transcripts of real-life situations that McLean and Chesler find to be titillating examples of extremism. McLean shines as he describes philosophical extremism, spiritual extremism, Lyotard and Artaud. A must read for both simple and sophisticated minds. 

Published by Nickel Hole Press and on sale at this link.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Nickel Hole Press: E-book out

Nickel Hole Press: E-book out: Here is Poems for Jennifer as an electronic book for only $2.99 at Lulu. It will soon be available at the other marketplaces like Apple, N...

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Anterior Suicide & Other Tragicomedies

Here is the book Anterior Suicide & Other Tragicomedies by Jennifer Chesler & David McLean. It's a collaborative collection of sick, twisted fragments, guaranteed to make you vomit or come, probably both.

Nickel Hole Press: Anterior Suicide - as promised

Nickel Hole Press: Anterior Suicide - as promised: Here is the book Anterior Suicide & Other Tragicomedies by Jennifer Chesler & David McLean. It's a collaborative collection of ...

My latest, best, maybe last book, Poems for Jennifer

I just did my last (probably) & best (definitely) poetry collection, it's edited by (& about) Jennifer S. Chesler, called Poems for Jennifer & out at our Nickel Hole Press.

EDIT:  here it is as an electronic book at Lulu for only $2.99 Soon due at other marketplaces.

Nickel Hole Press: Poems for Jennifer

Nickel Hole Press: Poems for Jennifer: David McLean is pleased to announce his maybe last & definitely best book of poems, basically done here for convenience & with the s...

Friday, October 6, 2017

Nickel Hole Press: Anterior Suicide & Other Tragicomedies

Nickel Hole Press: Anterior Suicide & Other Tragicomedies: The first collaboration by Jennifer S. Chesler & David McLean is entitled Anterior Suicide & Other Tragicomedies . It is full of gri...

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Nickel Hole Press: To hell with manifestos

Nickel Hole Press: To hell with manifestos: The forthcoming book by Jennifer S. Chesler & David McLean will now be called Anterior Suicide, & other Tragicomedies. it is already shaping up very nicely.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Horror Sleaze Trash

Here's the promised collaborative work with Jennifer Chesler, incorrectly attributed to only her. It's up at Horror Sleaze Trash. If it were not for her I would not be writing.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Bourgeois Dreams - by Jennifer S. Chesler

Here's Bourgeois Dreams by the fiancée, Jennifer S. Chesler (link to original post).

The week was interminable and my loathing of it long. I struggled through each day with the words fucking hell as my only release. Drugs were denied me. The only way to regain them would be through money and lies. I was capable of obtaining the former and the latter… well, they came to me naturally. There was not even an exertion of effort needed.

List of things money can buy:

A house in Amsterdam
A big party full of people I don't know doing drugs

These were my bourgeois dreams.

The pipes in the bathroom whistle. My electronic mahjong game goes on without me. Even the garbage bin rolls itself to the curb. The churchgoing family applauds. But my cat claws his way into the box spring -- the only show of aggression, the only resistance to matter at all -- like a convict might do to break out of prison. And there are those who, in resistance to matter, cut off a limb to save their lives, as when the infection rests in the bone.

Did I not too almost die from illness? Even the audience's mass exodus pales in comparison. Cancer? A blip on the map. I hope I do not alienate my brothers and sisters in death. Cerberus sniffed us all, though some more times than others. There is the usual palliative medicine, which makes the day pass quickly; the weeks, a dream. So you can imagine my dismay upon learning that I would be given no palliative care. I go to the food stamps office stripped. My shirt is over one ear. I hear my name ring into the waiting room, but see no one saying it. It confuses me. Who says my name into the blank room ahead of me? Behind you, says a voice. I turn. I didn't realize there was a back area, I say to the audience. Just to show you that this hasn't been for nothing, you'll meet with a second food stamp officer, the officer says. The food stamp interview takes place in two parts, she says. And you stopped working because work was scarce or?... asks the other officer. Pause. I tried to commit suicide on October 29th, I say. I haven't been able to work since then. Silence. He screws his nose a little one way. I'm fucked on time, I say and look at the clock. I'll have you out of here soon, he says. Your card comes in the mail from Tampa. Expect it Friday or Monday. I wear my sleeping bag of a down coat to protect my body from the elements, indoors and out, as a nun her habit. It's hard to remember the date of the food stamps interview. I do remember the holidays between which it falls. Likewise, I do not remember the date of my suicide attempt three months prior to the October 29th incident. But that's only a lapse of a month in time.

And if I had friends I would toast to them
Instead of many more.
Their names I'd pronounce so scrupulously
I'd savor the sounds evermore.

After the suicide attempts, I am left with a numbness from a phantom self, like a phantom limb would haunt an amputee. It controls me, this wayward shadow taking the glory of existence for itself.

Rush to the spot where you tried to kill yourself. Rush there. There's a big suicide sale at midnight. All shoppers get two attempts for the price of one. You can save a lot of money on caskets and burial costs. Your family will be pleased with your economy. Don't call anyone this time around. Just asphyxiate yourself and die. Your life is worthless. Love is worthless.

I wish I was dead. T. says wishes are for children. I am a child who wishes for the cessation of breathing. I am a coward. One day I will be successful at dying. It happens to everyone. The final breaths will be difficult. I am lost. I am mad. I am not here. I am here. I repeat myself. I am a lost child who is a coward. I see no way around lying. Telling the truth is forbidden to me. I have too much to hide. I was ousted from the hospital when I wanted to stay there, for making the other patients uncomfortable by revealing my thoughts in group therapy.

The group leader says, You don't have to prove yourself to anyone, not a single living soul. All you have to worry about is…

Ourselves, the group unenthusiastically fills in.

Ourselves, says the group leader. That's right. Now, can anyone give an example of when they tried to prove themselves to others?

I was a prostitute for 11 years, I say. My parents wanted me to do something different, so I applied to law school and got accepted. I didn't end up going, I say. But I had tried to prove myself to my parents. A week before I was supposed to go to school they rescinded their offer to help me monetarily. They thought I was unbalanced mentally. I was, I say. But that hadn't stopped me from doing anything before.

Okay, says the group leader, cutting me a bit short. Jennifer shared with us an example of how trying to prove herself failed. Let's get another story. Does anyone else care to share with the group?

Everyone remains silent. I guess I shouldn't have said the prostitution part. I should have left that out. But isn't leaving out the prostitute part only capitulating to the mores of the group, I ask myself. Wouldn't leaving it out be me trying to prove myself to them?

It's hard to get anyone to speak now. My friend in the group sleeps soundly in his chair. He's not snoring, but his breathing is audible. He's going through withdrawal from painkillers and takes Suboxone, a synthetic heroin.

It's his medication, says the group leader when someone asks why he is asleep. Let's end here, he says. See you tomorrow.

My friend wakes up and walks with me to the dining hall. He takes a tray from the stack and hands it to me. Here you go, he says. We occupy the remaining empty table. Shit, he says. Someone we don't know sits down with us. Mind if I sit with you, the intruder asks. No, go ahead, my friend says. He nudges my foot under the table.

The stranger leaves before we finish eating. Whew, says my friend, glad he's gone. Yes, I say. I finish my peach cobbler and pick up my tray.

How can I get the medicine you get, I ask him on the way back to the ward.

You've got to come in knowing what dose you want, he says. Say you're on the medicine already. They won't test you.

What dose would I take, I ask him.

Start with six milligrams, he says. That should keep you.

Thanks, I say.

No problem.

We sit in the common room and drink decaf coffee. He slips his hand into my fur poncho. The nurses and patients are all around. I feel his hand on my left breast.

Jennifer, a nurse says, we've got your medication ready.

I get up and take my pill. My friend is gone when I return. I sit on the couch alone. No one dares to sit next to me, probably because my friend always sits there. He looks like a strung-out thug, someone whose nose has been broken and eyes blackened, someone who has done the same to others.

He sits next to me again.

Heard what you said in group, he says.

What did I say, I ask.

About having been a hooker, he says. My roommate warned me about you. He said he wouldn't even kiss your cheek. Told me to keep a distance. Fuck, he says, why didn't you tell me you worked the streets?

I was a call girl, not a street prostitute, I say. I take offense at his assumption that I'd been on the lowest rungs. I was an escort, I say in case he didn't get it the first time. 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Phenomenal industry

I have, by dint of consuming large amounts of coffee, spent the better part of three days editing & ordering two novels as well as a 200 page collection of shorter pieces by my very talented fiancée Jennifer S. Chesler.

I seriously believe that nobody alive is writing anything even remotely comparable to her work. I am enormously proud that she considers me worthy of her affections.

I hope that these collections reach print form swiftly, & her works will be read for many years

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Down & Out in Muncie, Indiana

After being in a psychiatric ward & a suicide attempt, Jennifer S. Chesler describes feeling like she's nothing. There is no nothingness, though, so ultimately one has nothing to say or feel.

Original post at this link, this is one of the pieces we put today in her resurrected book fragments. This is very intense, it's basically autobiographical & I love her & am enormously proud of her. Here the piece is:

Homeless shelter. I could have had fleas, but instead I have hives. Everything is about me. There is no deviation from the pain of existence. I remain consistent in my efforts to avoid writing about it. I don't write. I write nothing. I remain closed to my pain. I no longer have the same buffer against reality that I had when on drugs. I don't know anything anymore. I know nothing. That is all I can say. Even writing this is difficult, and it's not about anything. Listening to music hurts. Everything is a reminder of having had a home. I have nothing. I hate everyone who has abandoned me. I hate the world. A better way. This is where I am. The name is a euphemism. I have a typewriter in the corner, but I don't use it. I have no paper. I have no home. I have no cat. I have nothing. These words get me nowhere. I am nowhere. I have nothing. I can say this with all certainty though I know nothing. Nothing is certain. My neck hurts from bad pillows. I can't shower. I have hives. This is what I have. Hives. The kind induced by stress. I am allergic to stress. I am allergic to my life. I have nothing. My clothes are second-hand. My coat is a pimp coat. I went to New Jersey to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins. I wore a pimp coat there. It was embarrassing for me. I hate T. I hate my parents. I don't have enough money for anything. I have nothing to do. I am unable to work. I am unable to do anything. I can barely write, barely. "I I I I I." Everything is about me. The music I listen to makes sense to me, but I don't know why or how. Nothing is the only thing that makes sense to me. The void of existence, this having nothing. I am at a loss for words. I write out of necessity. There is no substance. There are women with children and lovers getting out of prison. They need to hide. A better way hides them. This is the undisclosed location. I met the taxi at a McDonald's. I was in the rain. Were you partyin', she asks. What? Partyin'? Partying? No. Were you workin'? No, I was sleeping. Someone woke me up from a bad nightmare. It wasn't a dream. I struggled to wake up. There was no other world to wake up to. I was amidst pure chaos. My whole being is called into question. I don't know who I am anymore. Maybe I never knew this. Maybe I was staving this off for years, this fate of mine. I don't know. I don't know anything. I only know the pain of nothingness, of having nothing, of being nothing, of writing nothing. I am the pain of not knowing or being anything. None of my old friends associate with me. I am loss. I am pain. I am nothing. I am the remainder of an odd subtraction of being and nothingness. Sartre didn't know anything either. I tried to kill myself twice. I thought I'd have been dead. Have been. I thought I'd get past this part. I thought I could get past the inevitable fate of the nightmare. I thought I could escape. I thought you were dead to me. Nothing self, you came back to me. She ain't shit, she says. She's nothing. I am nothing. I am not even shit. I don't exist on a map. I come from nowhere. I go nowhere. I have lost everything. I can't think of anything else. I am disgusted by myself but can't shower. I smell like a homeless person because I am homeless. There are mice running about here. No one has seen any in the sleeping rooms yet, yet being the operative word. Yet. Not yet. There are not mice in there yet, not in the room where you sleep. The children seem to have gotten used to me though. Two of them will call me by name now. Since I went to New Jersey. I am disoriented. I have a shelter cough. I have hives. These are things I have. I do not claim them as my own though because these claims mean inevitable loss. Maybe I should claim them as my own then. I claim shelter cough and hives. These things are mine. Do say rape as well. Rape. Don't say rape to T. Rape. The opposite of rape. Angel. She wants a distraction. Chooses the stripper over me. I want a distraction. I am the antithesis of possession. I am the antithesis of Angel. I have nothing and am nothing. I am the year of my birth. I am a newborn nothing. Sartre and Henry Miller were nothing. Chaucer was nothing. Nothing that existed exists now. The void of becoming. The apparent heir of nothingness. I am a newborn nothing. I repeat myself to save words. I am thrifty in my solipsism. I am alone in the mirror. I spell mirror in French. There is a remnant of my past. I would take you out with me. I would take you to the mirror and make you look at my puffy face next to yours. I would make us look at each other in the mirror until our faces turned blue like corpses. I would make you die with me, slowly and by part. First our faces would die together. Our extremities next. Our trunks last, and in our trunks the hearts finally. Not our hearts anymore, just the hearts. They come last. The hearts come last. There is nothing in the brains so they come first. We've been emptied of thought. We are death incarnate. We love ourselves despite death. We love our suicide attempts. We love you and hate you. We love nothing and hate nothing. We tried to asphyxiate ourselves with plastic bags taped around our necks. The suffocation was extreme. We stop ourselves from becoming. We are death. We are asphyxiated anyway, this time by existence. Life is a trap for death. There is only a wish for death. I try to stop myself from wishing for death, but I cannot wish for anything else. Death, yes. I want to come with you, into you. A lover for eternity, the rest of decomposition. I am everything and nothing. I am love and hate. I am nothing. I hate these words. I love these words. I hate and love everything. I hate Angel and T. I hate my parents and sometimes my brother. I hate them more than life itself. I hate life. I hate lists. I hate waiting for nothing. I am always waiting for nothing. I wait for nothing to end. There is no peace and death. I am forced alive by not killing myself well enough to die. I am a failure. I have failed to die successfully. I didn't take all the pills in one go. I should have taken more. I had them. What was I waiting for? Two goes. No discernible death, only a semblance of it in life, the mired existence that remains in the traumatic aftermath of failed suicide attempts. I am nothing. I breathe even though I tried not to. The asphyxiation was too much for me. Why do I hate my brother sometimes when he has done nothing? Because he has done nothing but take me to the hospital. I didn't want to go to the hospital. Once there I didn't want to leave. I don't understand myself. Someone got shot by his father. The inverse of patricide. It lives in me, the inverse of self-creation. I want to destroy myself fiber by fiber. I want to die. I want to stop existence and get off the bus. I am not waiting for a bus. I am waiting to halt it. I am waiting for the bus to crash. I wait for the waves to drown me. But there is not an ocean here in the middle of the country. I wait for nothing. No waves drown me. I want to leave the country. I have nothing. I am nothing. I wait for nothing. The ocean was a symbol for life. I was drowned by existence. I was nothing then as I am nothing now. I was always no more than nothing. I saw myself as interminably verbose. I was articulate. Now I look forward to bad potato salad, the kind that is sweetened. I eat Cheez-It crackers. I splurge on empty calories because I am empty. I am empty and full of shit. I lie to everyone about everything. I am running out of cigarettes. About that I can tell you the truth. I am even good at typing. I am even good at sitting in bed. I am even good. I am even good. One day we will laugh about the parson's coat. I will not always look like a pimp. I will not always wear my father's clothes. I will not cut off an ear or even two. Even two. Even two. I know nothing. I am nothing. I am the inevitable consequence of my actions. I tried to commit suicide. I understand your wish for death. I am coughing my lungs out over it. I spurt up my insides. I cough them onto your plate. Here are my lungs. Here is my heart. I have no brain to give you. But take my heart and lungs, please. Take them and run.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Horror Sleaze Trash

Four texts by Jennifer Chesler & myself will be appearing in Horror Sleaze Trash, which is another highly recommended publication.

I have never written collaboratively before, but am enormously pleased by the things we have been writing.

At this link there is some stuff from me there in 2011. At this link there is some stuff from 2016.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

work with Jennifer Chesler from Creative Destruction Press

Jennifer Chesler my hot fiancée, & I have been writing what we call pornoetry, filthy texts, because that's the way we roll, motherfuckers.

Creative Destruction Press have been kind enough to accept five of these for publication in their forthcoming anthology Gutter, Grimy, Scumfuck, the title of which naturally attracted us.

Not sure when it's forthcoming but submission are not closed yet, so in a while.

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Licentiam

Five poems about fiancĂ©e here at The Licentiam, an awesome zine for experimental erotic work. 

Jennifer Chesler

Here is a link to the blog of my brilliant fiancée Jennifer Chesler. There are old excerpts from novels in progress. She shall, however, be writing again soon, so new awesome work will be available there.

EDIT: Jennifer & I are preparing an MSS of "filthy literature"/"pornoetry" which is neither erotica nor pornography, but simply about the details of human existence as they manifest themselves in good hard fucking between decent everyday perverts.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Full of Crow

Thanks to editor Lynn Alexander, three from forthcoming book in Full of Crow.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

longshadowfall review

Michael Mc Aloran
book review by David McLean

Mc Aloran’s new book is not about participating in any sort of Irish tradition, although the fact that he is Irish has obviously created an expectation that he be expected to care about Beckett & the other notable Irish writers, if there are any, especially since he does not create conventional prose in his texts. It is not evident in what way Mc Aloran follows in any Irish tradition given that he has developed an individual voice. Mc Aloran takes this subsumption of his work under the patriotic assumption of Irishness & some regional identity qua writer with some grace, since it must be very frustrating.
What the books are basically about is the circumstance that existence is extremely temporary & not driven by some fundamental meaning whereby things fit into their various places & are essentially & unproblematically what they are. We are loathsome ugly clumps of meat – the failing echo of which Mc Aloran writes is moronic repetition, it is the pathetic quest for meaning: there are no razors that do not have blood on them, nothing that does not rust, no flesh forever except the repetitive return of more worthless flesh. The echo might be an originary echo, the sounds that come out first are already echoes. The road, everywhere, is marked by shit, it is full of shit. A perfect place for the shit that is humanity to drag itself back to nothing.
I think that Mc Aloran would agree with my assessment of humanity that I developed from Homer Simpson “People do things because they are stupid & die because they deserve to” - there is carrion everywhere: people die so often that it is (almost) not even funny anymore.
The best aspect of Mc Aloran is the gloom. There is no trace of the inability that the later (& better) Becket regrets as he notices that words do not work, they just lie on the page & suck. This is because what Mc Aloran is portraying is the fact that meaning is not there, life sucks because it is meat that fails to mean.
When we die we will have failed to speak, we will have failed to mean, we will have failed to matter. This has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with modern society or any sort of political criticism, that’s just the way it is. We are left with “speech lack of claim/ words dead foreign ice encasing fathom untimely said
It helps to be mad, it helps to be drunk. Buy this book. It’s available from the usual culprits & the publishers here.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Stray Branch

Delighted to have poems in The Stray Branch this fall. The issue maybe purchased at the link or downloaded. Huge thanks to Debbie Berk for taking the stuff.

Here is the hard copy at this link.

The digital download is at this link.  

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Curly Mind

Delighted to have five things at The Curly Mind

she is insect

here is beasts

suicide fingers

if i were to sleep


confusion was

Thanks Reuben Wooley.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

"The Gods are Dead" - Joanna C. Valente

Joanna C. Valente
The Gods are Dead (2015)
(Deadly Chaps Press)
review by David McLean

This book by Joanna C. Valente is like a naturalization of Tarot & occult symbolism reflected in the bizarre unlikelihood of real lives since the symbolic figures of the major arcana are used to symbolize something of contemporary relevance. It's beautifully illustrated by Ted Chevalier & the book itself is very well made.

Valente is good at titles: “The Moon is Always Horny”, “The Hermit Used to be the Guitarist in Your Favorite Band”, “Judgment Promises Life After the Internet”, “The Hanged Man Will Ghostwrite Your Life”, & so on;

I am dead as a forgotten
man, no mind / I am a broken vessel.
(The Hanged Man Will Ghostwrite Your Life)

says the lamb, before he “spreads, purrs into a shit/ angel”. These are poems of sacrifice & the futility of sacrifice, the necessity of ritual, & whatever heaven a religion imagines might exist will not fit us.

He measures his life by expiration
Dates / Milk in the fridge has two
weeks til death / bananas grow
black as the inside of a coffin
(Death Rides a Pale Horse)

I have mentioned titles, & the next excerpt is from a classic:

... He wakes alone
the next morning, his back

rough from ropes. Lilies
spread across the bed - petals
of who he will become
(At Night, Temperance Works as a Dominatrix

Landscapes are supposed to be desolate, & the imagery of these poems invites the reader to conceptualize themselves more creatively. The most pivotal poem seems to be this one:

the air streams
stillness as if someone
died while making

He has never made
Instead he cuts up
to orgasm. ...


Someone could stop;
instead chose to be
(The Hierophant Builds the Bridge Between Deity and Humanity)

Again this book by Valente is an excellent read, & heartily to be recommended. You don't need to know or care about the Tarot, the poems create their own symbolism & the archetypes are more universal. The books is on sale here:

"Marys of the Sea" - Joanna C. Valente

Joanna C. Valente
Marys of the Sea
ELJ Publications
review by David McLean
Obviously with a religious reference in the title, this book is full of powerful poems that create an alternative mythology for the female body in the face of abuse & the exigencies of motherhood together with the obvious alternative, abortion. This is important, since conceptualization and categorization of items within a reality influence how one feels able to interact with and/or challenge that reality. I shall refrain from discussing any feminist message since i am rather old-school & consider that a man does not have a feminist consciousness since he cannot, & feminism involves conscious awareness, with an epistemological privilege that a person possesses qua oppressed. Were I to do so, then Empire would speak, not really me. But the dispossession & lack of rootedness & reality is a general theme, it speaks of the lack of autochthonousness that marks the deconstructed self, as bodies scramble in the dirt for identities worth having,.
We are only human, says Valente, when someone is looking. The self is not something we have, just like problems aren't something we have outside of a social context. The main problem with the late-capitalist socius is that nobody gives a flying fuck who you are: everything, everybody, every body is an object to be used & exploited; it is a resource. & again the oppressed oppress best. It is “some of the women in town” who want Mary punished, just as it is women who very often insist on FGM.
The book is full of perfect references to other poetry. I want to quote in full one short poem that like one that I myself did more verbosely is a tribute “Lullaby” by Auden. Valente's sampling is much better, though:
Humans, yr sleeping head lies
on arms with no bones.
burn beauty away
with time. Children prove it true.
For now, lie here in my arms
our guilt entirely beautiful.

(Lullaby on the Half Shell)
I don't read much poetry anymore. This might sound exaggerated, but Valente's poems are a sort of belated consolation for the death of Sylvia Plath. I think they're that good, & you would be a fool not to read them.

"at vacuum's edge, Michael Mc Aloran

Michael Mc Aloran
at vacuum's edge
Black Editions Press
review/blurb by David McLean

this chapbook concerns what we have as if to say. when faced by the other than. it is no alienation exactly but the necessary incongruity of the being human with the actual instantiation of all that within the brute meat we sort of want to torture even if the other may conceivably be rather like us

it is also of collisions – a collidescope, as he puts it, mirroring where the worlds minds drag around to imprison them bump into the other cunt.

again/ upon/ sodden crimson red recollect of
bounty’s trace of unforgiven/ dries the eyes what
depth till following lack abort what sung as if to
drift matter of forgotten as before once said
eradicated/ engulfed once more/ yet mocking the
reek/ (tread from this life disease what will stake
claims upon the ocean’s filtering lights)/ and the
bitten song/ a neck snapped in a gild of apathy/
nothing of the tears that demarcate the surface/
bore holes into the surface quadrant/ nothing

the problem of epistemology is not that nothing is known but that maybe what is mostly worthy of knowing is just the nothing/ that which one should designate almost imperceptibly by the via negativa.

whatever is in some sense given is not the significant. we cannot signify what matters which is not that nothing does. this chapbook is as far from nihilism as it is possible to be & whoever says it is just that is as ignorant as those who attribute the same alleged perversity to me.